Essent Group Ltd (NYSE:ESNT) hit a new 52-week high on Friday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The company traded as high as $53.73 and last traded at $53.36, with a volume of 391389 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $52.65.

The financial services provider reported $1.47 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.38 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $226.39 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $216.35 million. Essent Group had a net margin of 64.34% and a return on equity of 21.05%. The company’s revenue was up 22.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.18 earnings per share.

Several analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Peel Hunt reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Friday, October 25th. ValuEngine raised shares of Essent Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 24th. Deutsche Bank reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Monday, October 28th. BTIG Research reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 price objective on shares of Essent Group in a research note on Sunday, August 4th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Essent Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. Essent Group has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.00.

In related news, SVP Mary Lourdes Gibbons sold 2,381 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.01, for a total value of $126,216.81. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 212,785 shares in the company, valued at $11,279,732.85. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CAO David B. Weinstock sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.30, for a total transaction of $96,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 22,118 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,068,299.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 8,381 shares of company stock worth $414,217. 2.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Eqis Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Essent Group by 3.2% in the third quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 6,266 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $299,000 after buying an additional 194 shares during the period. BBVA USA Bancshares Inc. acquired a new position in Essent Group in the third quarter valued at $363,000. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA lifted its holdings in Essent Group by 12.6% in the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 66,806 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,184,000 after buying an additional 7,453 shares during the period. Groesbeck Investment Management Corp NJ lifted its holdings in Essent Group by 13.5% in the third quarter. Groesbeck Investment Management Corp NJ now owns 23,070 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,100,000 after buying an additional 2,750 shares during the period. Finally, Boston Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Essent Group by 55.0% in the third quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 73,393 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,499,000 after buying an additional 26,032 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.20% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a market cap of $5.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.96 and a beta of 1.22. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $50.22 and its 200-day moving average is $48.24.

Essent Group Company Profile (NYSE:ESNT)

Essent Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides private mortgage insurance and reinsurance for mortgages secured by residential properties located in the United States. The company also provides information technology maintenance and development services; customer support-related services; and contract underwriting services.

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